Hardware stub

iBUYPOWER Snowblind N450 Specs & Official Launch

Posted on January 17, 2017

Preorders are now open for the iBUYPOWER “Snowblind” system we’ve been covering for the past few months, most recently at CES 2017. The most notable aspect of Project Snowblind is the modified NZXT Noctis 450 enclosure, which uses an LCD side panel in place of a traditional clear window.

To be clear: although the buzz surrounding Project Snowblind is generally about the side panel, Snowblind systems are complete prebuilt machines and their enclosures are not available separately at this time (see our Noctis 450 review for details on the non-LCD version). As such, there are three SKUs available for preorder: Snowblind, Snowblind Pro, and Snowblind Extreme, for $1500, $1800, and $2500 respectively, with monthly payment plans optional. Additional components can be added for additional cost, but only white or silver varieties are allowed in order to give the panel maximum contrast.

iBUYPOWER Snowblind Specs

OSWin 10Win 10Win 10
MEMORY8GB DDR4-300016GB DDR4-300032GB DDR4-3000
GPUGTX 1070 8GBGTX 1070 8GBGTX 1080 8GB
MOBOMSI Z270 Tomahawk ArcticMSI Z270 Tomahawk ArcticMSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM

At those prices, looks like nobody’s going to buying a Snowblind just for the case—keeping that in mind, the middle Pro SKU seems like the best deal instead of the cheapest tier. It’s easy to buy additional memory, the 1070 is a solid GPU, and the Pro includes the same i7 CPU that the Extreme does, all for $700 cheaper. The case itself adds roughly $250 to the total build cost.

We’ve thoroughly covered the mechanics of the Snowblind enclosure in the past, but the gist is that the LCD panel essentially acts as an additional monitor controlled via a DVI link from the GPU. iBUYPOWER includes open-source Rainmeter software with the systems for displaying widgets, and although the panel is technically capable of anything that a monitor can do, it’s mainly intended for decoration. It’s full color, transparent, 1280x1024, and lined with extremely bright LEDs for backlighting, but even so, don’t expect the fidelity of a monitor—check our October coverage to see what a YouTube video looks like displayed on the panel.

Snowblind preorders are expected to ship at the end of February. We have requested a review sample.

- Patrick “Germ King” Lathan